Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Nine great thrillers featuring alter egos

Saul A. Lelchuk holds a B.A. in English from Amherst College and a master's degree from Dartmouth College. He divides his time between Oakland, California and New Hampshire, where he teaches graduate creative writing at Dartmouth. He has served as a PEN America Prison Writing Mentor and makes regular appearances discussing fiction writing around the country.

Save Me From Dangerous Men was the start of a series featuring bookseller and private investigator Nikki Griffin. The series was optioned for film and television and has been published in translations around the world. Save Me From Dangerous Men was named a USA Today Best Book of 2019, a Booklist Top 10 Crime Debut of 2019, a Kirkus Best Mystery/Thriller of 2019, a Hudson Booksellers Best of the Year, and was short-listed for a Barry Award.

The sequel, One Got Away, was named as a “5 Books Not to Miss” by USA Today and was published in April 2021.

At CrimeReads Lelchuk tagged nine favorite thrillers featuring alter egos, including:
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith

It would be an egregious omission if I didn’t include one of the most iconic alter egos out there: Tom Ripley. In the first of the series, Patricia Highsmith introduces us to her con man and murderer extraordinaire. Charming but bland, attractive yet unassuming, likeable and forgettable—this is Ripley’s meticulously curated exterior. This mask hides a rather sociopathic personality with a hellbent willingness to opportunistically take what he wants, regardless of who he hurts (or worse) in the process. Fittingly, Ripley also shows himself to be a man of supreme ambivalence in all matters—sexually, morally, vocationally. Yet despite his many proven talents, we wonder whether his chameleon nature will catch up to him eventually.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Talented Mr Ripley is on Emma Stonex's list of seven top mystery novels set by the sea, Russ Thomas's top ten list of queer protagonists in crime fictionPaul Vidich's list of five of the most enduring imposters in crime fiction & espionage, Lisa Levy's list of eight of the most toxic friendships in crime fiction, Elizabeth Macneal's list of five sympathetic fictional psychopaths, Laurence Scott's list of seven top books about doppelgangers, J.S. Monroe's list of seven suspenseful literary thrillers, Simon Lelic's top ten list of false identities in fiction, Jeff Somers's list of fifty novels that changed novels, Olivia Sudjic's list of eight favorite books about love and obsession, Roz Chast's six favorite books list, Nicholas Searle's top five list of favorite deceivers in fiction, Chris Ewan's list of the ten top chases in literature, Meave Gallagher's top twenty list of gripping page-turners every twentysomething woman should read, Sophia Bennett's top ten list of books set in the Mediterranean, Emma Straub's top ten list of holidays in fiction, E. Lockhart's list of favorite suspense novels, Sally O'Reilly's top ten list of novels inspired by Shakespeare, Walter Kirn's top six list of books on deception, Stephen May's top ten list of impostors in fiction, Simon Mason's top ten list of chilling fictional crimes, Melissa Albert's list of eight books to change a villain, Koren Zailckas's list of eleven of literature's more evil characters, Alex Berenson's five best list of books about Americans abroad John Mullan's list of ten of the best examples of rowing in literature, Tana French's top ten maverick mysteries list, the Guardian's list of the 50 best summer reads ever, the Telegraph's ultimate reading list, and Francesca Simon's top ten list of antiheroes.

--Marshal Zeringue